Carolina VonKampen

Editor. Reader. Writer.

Tag: debut

Takeaways From BookFest St. Louis 2018 as a Reader, Writer, and Editor

BookFest St. Louis is a wonderful daylong event that lets the St. Louis community hear a variety of authors speak for free. I attended the festival in September with my friend Hannah and her sister and had a great time. Here are the sessions I attended and what I took away from them as a reader, writer, and editor.

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What I’ve Been Reading in Summer 2018

Summer: It’s too hot to exercise outside, and it’s also too busy to curl up with piles of books indoors in the sweet, sweet central air conditioning of our new apartment. I’ll admit: I’ve been in a bit of a reading slump. Or maybe it’s more like a reading slowdown. And admittedly, I haven’t been writing blog posts or book reviews, either. So before you start asking, “What have you even been doing all summer?” (hint: so much work), here’s what I’ve been reading in summer 2018.

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To Read or Not to Read: The End We Start From

I first came across The End We Start From on a LitHub list of new releases in November. The initial description checked a lot of boxes for me: literary fiction, lots of overarching metaphors, beautiful prose. It sounded promising (and the cover looked gorgeous). When I saw it on the shelf in Barnes & Noble, I had to pick it up and decide for myself: To read or not to read? Continue reading

Girl in Snow by Danya Kukafka

Girl in Snow is Danya Kukafka debut novel exploring how a small town in Colorado reacts after the most popular girl in school, Lucinda Hayes, is murdered. Three characters share the spotlight as narrators: Cameron, Lucinda’s stalker; Jade, a unpopular girl whom Lucinda was indifferent to; and Russ, a police officer who is in love with Cameron’s dad. As they tell their stories, we learn about their relationships with Lucinda and their grief, longing, love, and obsession. Continue reading

The Girls by Emma Cline

Spoiler alert: This review has all the spoilers for The Girls. Although, I’m not sure how you don’t know what this book is about by now (it was ALL over bookstagram last summer) and how you haven’t come to the conclusion that it ends with a murder.

Emma Cline’s debut novel The Girls made a splash in the summer of 2016. Readers loved the story of Evie, a girl who flirts with joining a cult as she grows away from her mother and her former best friend and becomes entranced by a girl—Suzanne. The novel ends with gruesome murders, which leaves Evie questioning what she was and is capable of.

It was really hard for me to get into this novel for two reasons: The jumps between the past and the present were confusing at the beginning of the novel, and Cline’s word choices jarred me. Continue reading

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